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Album Review: Round and Round- Mike Clark’s Sugar Sounds

Mike Clark and The Sugar Sounds have embarked on this maiden journey, “Round and Round,” with sails full of something outstanding and nearly unspeakable.

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BUY: Round and Round by Mike Clark's Sugar Sounds | Courtesy Blank Tape Records

BUY: Round and Round by Mike Clark’s Sugar Sounds | Courtesy Blank Tape Records

photo courtesy Blank Tape Records

photo courtesy Blank Tape Records

Immediately after pressing play on the first track of Mike Clark and the Sugar Sounds’ debut album, “Round and Round,” it is nearly impossible not to expect the metronomic pulse of an egg shaker ushering in Veronica Bennett of The Ronettes’ impassioned pleas to “be her baby.” In contrast, you are welcomed by a plaintive guitar melody corkscrewing you into the storied voice of Mike Clark (The Jack Trades/Crow Flies/The Haunted Windchimes) as it gushes forth in delicate falsetto. Yes, I said delicate falsetto. This is your cue to throw any preconceptions, and what you have come to expect from Mike Clark, immediately overboard.

Conjuring echoes of Al Green, Otis Redding and even The Ronettes, “Round and Round” is an album that adds a rustic quality to soulful traditions in a way that transforms it as a dish into something altogether new… just by adding bacon. The “Round and Round” experience is so simple, yet transformative; it makes you avoid using words like revolutionary to describe it. In the mirror, you are more apt to wonder: “why hasn’t this been done before?”

This band is comprised of what amounts to a Southern Colorado super-group. Quoting their press release directly, the Sugar Sound line-up is comprised of these prime musicians: “Inaiah Lujan (guitar/The Haunted Windchimes), Marc Benning (bass/34 Satellite), Alex Koshak (percussion/The Grant Sabin Band), Grant Sabin (trumpet/The Grant Sabin Band), and Ian Bourgal (sax/The Changing Colors).” I’d be a fool not mention the guest artists including Joe Johnson, Kimberly Sewell, Kelsey Sprague, Adam Stone, and Jeff Fuller. 

Truthfully, this was an un-nerving enterprise, prior to hitting play, understanding that I could potentially say something like, “eh, it’s alright,” to virtually every notable musician in Southern Colorado. That anxiety was relieved the very moment the play button was pushed, and disbelieving questions like “this is f**king Mike Clark(?!), “ began bouncing around my head.

Mike Clark and The Sugar Sounds have embarked on this maiden journey, “Round and Round,” with sails full of something outstanding and nearly unspeakable. I don’t normally enjoy talking in an overly serious tone, but this band has a genuine potential to become a part of our national lexicon and greater American musical heritage. The Blank Tape Records’ website politely asks us to “come along and take a chance on The Sugar Sounds!” I disagree with the modesty of this tone. I’d rather say, unless you are hopelessly allergic to fun… buy this record at once.  

by Kevin Healey

Listen to a track from the new album:

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Local and independent journalism is under threat in the West and you change that.  With corporate raiders slashing newsrooms across the West, the PULP is one of the "Last Locals" in Colorado to produce original, compelling journalism missing in today's profit hungry world. But that costs money, time and hard work. We don't believe in spamming you with ads or putting up restrictive paywalls and that's why we need your help.

For every contribution, we put 100% back into producing original and amazing journalism. That's a promise only a local and independent newsroom can promise. Take heart because you will fuel stories just like this one and the future of journalism.

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Star Wars™ Pinball: Star Wars Rebels™

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Zen Studios has concocted a ruse of amusement, it’s a trap—of fun. Star Wars™ Pinball: Star Wars Rebels™, established by the critically acclaimed animated TV show on Disney XD, Star Wars Rebels™, releases endorphins chock full of nostalgia and bliss. With all of the Star Wars talk going on as of late, it’s nice to get in your daily need of pew pew! Stormtroopers assemble and try to take down the hero of Lothal, the whole mission thing is a bit nuts. This pinball table goes to a galaxy far far away by delving into an age that has yet to be traversed by the films. Zen studios gets the balance of the force just right, do not try to get this table, do it.

One more thing...

Local and independent journalism is under threat in the West and you change that.  With corporate raiders slashing newsrooms across the West, the PULP is one of the "Last Locals" in Colorado to produce original, compelling journalism missing in today's profit hungry world. But that costs money, time and hard work. We don't believe in spamming you with ads or putting up restrictive paywalls and that's why we need your help.

For every contribution, we put 100% back into producing original and amazing journalism. That's a promise only a local and independent newsroom can promise. Take heart because you will fuel stories just like this one and the future of journalism.
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Pinball FX-2 Avengers: Age of Ultron

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Zen Studios does it again with Pinball FX2 – Marvel Avenger’s: Age of Ultron. This table is available on PC, Xbox One, and Playstation 4. Avengers Assemble! Age of Ultron quenches a thirst for adventure you didn’t know you had. Players assist Iron Man in finishing his most aspiring venture to date. The profound and climactic soundtrack will rip you out of the comfort of your chair and into the Age of Ultron. Enjoy this audacious addition to the Avenger’s universe, Thor’s might is on your side. The Incredible Hulk, Hawkeye, and Black Widow make a gargantuan attempt at arresting the nefarious Ultron. Pull yourself together and check out this game, you can’t afford more mistakes. The god of thunder favors you.

One more thing...

Local and independent journalism is under threat in the West and you change that.  With corporate raiders slashing newsrooms across the West, the PULP is one of the "Last Locals" in Colorado to produce original, compelling journalism missing in today's profit hungry world. But that costs money, time and hard work. We don't believe in spamming you with ads or putting up restrictive paywalls and that's why we need your help.

For every contribution, we put 100% back into producing original and amazing journalism. That's a promise only a local and independent newsroom can promise. Take heart because you will fuel stories just like this one and the future of journalism.
Continue Reading

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Shaking the Habitual, The Knife | Album Review

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By The Knife

Shaking the Habitual is something every person needs more of in life. Stepping outside of boundaries and entering a new experience can have a confounding effect on the senses. Rhythm and movement resonate from the deepest depths of the soul and project outward in an array of vibrancy. 

What starts off like a indigenous ceremony quickly changes to a post apocalyptic nuclear wasteland by the third track, “A Cherry on Top.” Then, finding semblance in a 19 minute interlude, “Old Dreams Waiting to Be Realized,” the brother-and-sister duo reemerge in ritualistic fashion with the deep bass line of “Raging Lung”. Ending with an unsettling aptitude, Fracking Fluid Injection precedes the final track, Ready to Lose; providing insight to a larger contextual effect this album has in a world seeming “Full of Fire.” 

Although difficult to fully embody the composition of electronic and aboriginal noise heard in The Knife’s new album, Shaking the Habitual, any movement to the music is sure to conjure emotion. At times, the May release represents a more archetypal sound in the art of music. 

Tying together components of old and new, the Swedish duo creates a spellbinding effect with the first track, A Tooth For an Eye. Amalgamating dominant instrumentations, subtle synth lines and underlying vocals, A Tooth For and Eye entices the listener with something seldom projected over the airwaves. 

Coming off a seven year hiatus, the duo can predominate with an electronic influence, but, ultimately the seamless transition across a spectrum of sound grasps the ear. Delivered in its entirety, the lasting impression might leave one feeling like a participant of a seance.

— Rob Donovan

 

One more thing...

Local and independent journalism is under threat in the West and you change that.  With corporate raiders slashing newsrooms across the West, the PULP is one of the "Last Locals" in Colorado to produce original, compelling journalism missing in today's profit hungry world. But that costs money, time and hard work. We don't believe in spamming you with ads or putting up restrictive paywalls and that's why we need your help.

For every contribution, we put 100% back into producing original and amazing journalism. That's a promise only a local and independent newsroom can promise. Take heart because you will fuel stories just like this one and the future of journalism.
Continue Reading

One more thing...

Local and independent journalism is under threat in the West and you change that.  With corporate raiders slashing newsrooms across the West, the PULP is one of the "Last Locals" in Colorado to produce original, compelling journalism missing in today's profit hungry world. But that costs money, time and hard work. We don't believe in spamming you with ads or putting up restrictive paywalls and that's why we need your help.

For every contribution, we put 100% back into producing original and amazing journalism. That's a promise only a local and independent newsroom can promise. Take heart because you will fuel stories just like this one and the future of journalism.

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